It speaks to me on a profoundly deep and meaningful level.
Archives For Art
Now stop that, it’s not that kind of blog post today.
There are many things I’m good at. I’m not too modest to admit it. In fact, I know I kick ass at a lot of stuff. There are, however, many things that I am not good at. I don’t mean things I just don’t do that well. I mean things that I really and truly suck at doing. Beyond the point of redemption.
For instance: I cannot draw. Seriously, even my stick figures are ridiculously, comically bad. Even if I were to take art classes for the next 10 years, I would never draw, paint, sculpt, or take photos beyond the level of a ham-handed 3-year-old. Clearly I was not genetically engineered to be an artist. I just don’t have the eye or the talent for it. And that’s okay. That’s why there are people like her and her and him, to name just a few shining examples.
I have the world’s worst poker face. Even Helen Keller could figure out exactly what I’m feeling and thinking. If I don’t like something, I can’t disguise it. It’s not just that I don’t want to disguise it—although that’s part of it—I really can’t disguise it. The expression on my face, my body language, and/or the tone of my voice will give me away every single time, no matter how hard I try to rein myself in. I may as well just have a visible thought balloon hovering over my head that says, “Fuck you.”
Most people I know can I do simple arithmetic in their head. I can’t. I’m very good at math in general, but I can’t calculate stuff unless I do it on paper. Want to see me look like a deer in the headlights? Ask me to figure out everyone’s share of the restaurant check without paper or a calculator. Mr. Weebles can add up all kinds of shit right off the top of his head, while I sit there like this:
I can’t whistle. Every once in a while I can but it’s usually by accident. I also can’t make cartoon popping noises with my mouth. I wish I could because I think those noises are funny. And I can’t roll my r’s, so I’ll never be able to speak any Romance language without sounding pathetically American. Mr. Weebles can do all of these things. He’s the ultimate triple threat, really.
I can’t open boxes and bags without destroying them. I try, I really do. I follow the perforations, I tear where it says “Tear here.” But invariably I end up mutilating the package and spraying the contents all over the room. This is usually followed by “MOTHERFUCKER WHY CAN’T I OPEN BOXES LIKE A PERSON?!?!?” You can always tell which boxes I’ve opened because they’re the ones that look like this:
So these, dear readers, are but a few of the many mad skillz I do not possess. Tell me, what do you suck at?
I’ve been remiss in introducing you to sufficient numbers of fine dead ladies, so here’s my first effort at rectifying the situation:
First of all, she has a fantastic name. That’s the name she went by, although her full legal name was Lavinia Ellen Ream Hoxie, which is a neat name in itself.
Anyway, Ms. Ream was a very talented sculptor. But this beauty was ballsy too. When she was only 16 she wangled herself an opportunity to create a bust of Abraham Lincoln, and she was granted a half-hour audience with the president every day for five months. That takes some serious cojones. Ever see the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the U.S. Capitol rotunda? That’s her work. She was 18 when she won the commission to create this piece in 1866, becoming the first woman and youngest artist ever to be awarded a federal art commission. Mary Todd Lincoln wasn’t pleased about the selection of Ream for the 1866 comission. But Mrs. Lincoln was a hot mess, so I’ll cut her a little bit of slack here. (I’ll write more about this crazy woman in another entry.)
The sculpture of Lincoln propelled Ream to fame. She would go on to create pieces for Ulysses S. Grant, Franz Liszt, Horace Greeley, George A. Custer, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Thaddeus Stevens, Peter Cooper, and Ezra Cornell, among others. She received her second federal commission in 1875 to create a life-size statue of Admiral David Farragut. When she died in 1914, Ream had just completed her third federally commissioned sculpture, of Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet.